GMOA on the warpath againJuly 22, 2012, 10:16 pm
By Don Asoka Wijewardena
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) is once again on the warpath. Its Executive Committee has unanimously decided to oppose moves to amend the National Medical Ordinance which, it claims, is being done to scrap the Bachelor of Surgery degree from the university medical degree course and to recognise the Malabe SAITM private medical college.
GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa told The Island that the GMOA was opposing the hasty amendment of the National Medical Ordinance, because it was being changed to achieve the aforesaid two main objectives.
Medical students who passed out from the medical faculties of the national universities had been conferred with the MBBS degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) since the inception. Before the MBBS degree it had been LMS (licentiate medicine and surgery), the GMOA spokesmansaid.
He said that the GMOA would demand that the Health Ministry do away with the amendment to the National Medical Ordinance. Neither, the Health Ministry nor the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), could take the GMOA for a ride, he said, adding that the GMOA was aware of the ulterior motives of the SLMC and the Health Ministry.
The amendment at issue would do more harm than good to the medical profession, he said adding that the GMOA had decided to resort to trade union action against the proposed amendment of the National Medical Ordinance.
When contacted SLMC President Prof. Carlo Fonseka dismissed the allegations made by the GMOA. The SLMC consisted of medical experts, including some GMOA members. The principal goals of the amendment would be to vest more powers in the SLMC and to lower the powers vested in the Minister. "The GMOA has every right to object to the amendment process, but it will be amended in due course," Prof. Fonseka said. The GMOA must come for an open discussion and the SLMC would explain the real objectives of the amendment, he said.
Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka, when contacted for comment, said that if the GMOA was not satisfied with the new inclusions in the Ordinance, the Ministry would withdraw it. The Ministry would invite the GMOA to a discussion and the main objective of the amendment process would be explained to them, he said.
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